Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Don't Leave Me.

Being alone is a deep fear of mine.
It harbors inside from the depths of my soul.
I find myself avoiding it, at all costs.
The letter I read sent chills down my spine...

"And surely I'll be with you always, 
until the very end of age." 
-Matthew 28:20

I stood there, my mind screaming.
My heart was racing and I knew it was a futile fight.
Don't leave me! Please, where are you!

"He will not leave you nor forsake you."
-Deuteronomy 31:6

I felt like a child, in the midst of the night,
trying to find the door, knowing my parents are on the other side...
but I couldn't see them nor feel them.

"Do you not know that you are God's temple,
and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"
-1 Corinthians 3:16

But I stood in the midst of day,
in the heart of my classroom,
and he called me to be courageous for Him,
for His Glory, for His Will.

So I found comfort in knowing He was there,
I bent down and tied a crying angel's shoe.
The news is nothing to fear... He was there.

When a threat was made,
when I stood there not knowing if it was truly a hoax...
my mind racing...
What do I do? What can I do?
He has not left me, he lives in me.

"But you belong to God, my dear children.
You have already won a victory over those people,
because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than
the spirit who lives in the world."
-1 John 4:4

So I battled with prayer. We battled with prayer.
We rose early in the morning and covered our school in prayer.
We touched every building, every entrance, every door.

We prayed a hedge over the community,
over the other schools,
over our children.

We prayed for legions of angels,
for warriors, for our intelligence...
all in His glory, all in His will.

And he showed up.
As sure as the dawn.
He covered his children
in a protective hedge of safety.

"But the Lord is faithful, 
and he will strengthen you
and protect you from the evil one."
-2 Thessalonians 3:3

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Power of Words

Do no conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not earthly things... Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:1-2, 5

The words fell onto the table. Shaken I replayed them in my mind, "You don't even go to church." So much out of the dynamics of that sentence, the abrupt statement, it hurt. I looked at the eyes staring at the host of those comment, but so much of me wanted to join her in the thoughtless sense of mockery. The words themselves were not true, I was a faithful attendee, Sunday mornings 9:00 am. I was there, you could count me in... my hands held high, words coming forth, a note taking queen. So why did those words sting? Why did they hit so hard? Why did I feel like a broken record stuck on the same song, "You don't even go to church, to church, to church, to church..."

The rest of the evening was a bust. Unable to move past it, my mind suffering from the wound in my heart. A cycle of anger, bitterness, self-pity when everyone else seemed to have already forgotten and moved past the words that were swarming around me, stinging over and over again.

Weeks went by, the bitter wound resurfacing every time it played in my mind. Then it hit me like a wall, it wasn't that it was a lie, it wasn't the person whose confabulation shot an arrow into the depths of my soul, it was my own self that I realized was wrong all along.

I was the problem here. I did not shine Jesus' light. I did not glorify him in all I did. I partied along, gossiped with the girls, slandered co-workers. I was definitely not set apart from them. How my heart ached, throbbing and pain pouring out, wrenching my very thought, teeth clenched, hands tense. I was displeased in my thoughtlessness. In the awareness of the life I have been living the past year I became embarrassed and ashamed. The Jesus who is changing me revealed a very important part of my life... and said sweetly, gently, and with forgiveness looked for love within my heart and whispered "Do you love me? Feed my lambs... Do you love me? Feed my sheep... Do you love me? Follow me." (John 21:15-19).

 He reinstated me and I surely denied him more with my actions than Peter did with words. Yet, he looked into my heart and he knew it wanted all of him and he saw that that was good enough, a great place to start.

"So here I stand, with arms high and heart abandoned... in love with the one who gave it all. My soul Lord to you surrender all I am is yours..."

Life changes little by little, by when he finds a coward and calls her courageous, calls her to live for him... he better bet she is going to in all her clumsiness, dash towards him double-speed with a heart craving to be in his arms. Yet, he knows her awkwardness will cause her to stumble, to fall sometimes, but he's right there to say, "Eyes back up victorious one... eyes on me."

Friday, April 18, 2014

An Astounding Question

As the sweetness and warmth of the sun rejoiced with dancing rays upon my skin I began to adore the beauty of the light. The spaces it filled, no darkness lived there. Revealing all there was to see. I basked in this thought for a while, reminded of the God who shined light in my heart, who went from corner to corner sweeping out the shadows, placing a lamp here and there saying, "now this is where I want to live... right here in this well lit place." I let him sit on his throne, surrounded by hundreds of lamps burning with the oil he provided. My heart, now a well lit place. Enthralled by the beauty of this thought I was pushed to think more about who I am now. The Sunday School answer did not suffice, "I am a child of God." that was a band-aid on an open wound, it would not do my thought and curiosity justice.

Who am I?

What does all this mean now? 

Reflecting back on a blog I read where a friend recently posted about her personality test I decided that was a good place to begin this tedious operation.

Who am I?

So the surgical tools were set in their place, I put on the mask and handed the question over to the Doctor of my heart... Who am I?

Laughing at the thought of my serious inquisition I began to delve deep, listing out character traits:
-60% independent/40% social
-90% abstract/10% concrete
-90% heart/10% head
-60% adaptive/40% systematic

Labeled a Reconciler... a helper in healing broken relationships.

Nope. I'm not that... this is wrong. This is definitely not me.
Read on.


  • relates strongly to the concepts of "guilt" and "grace"
  • Highly relational individuals
  • Seeks to reconcile people with people as well as people with God
  • Commonly serves on the mission field or in a mission and counseling organizations
  • May be hard on themselves for their own failures
  • Requires affirmation of self for who they are, not simply for the task they may perform"
The words glare out at me... piercing this heart of flesh. I'm in a box?! My cry devastates me... this is who I am. This is all I am. 

My mind stops. My heart beating. My soul speaks, this is not all you are Brady.

Of course it's not. So I dive deeper into understanding the mentality that God blessed me with, the revealing aspects of understanding why and who God made me to be.

But something hits home. My ears ringing, the fan is humming and I can only picture my brain mimicking it's inevitable spinning design.

Let me read to you exactly what turned my mind into a spinning mess:

"While a Reconciler is gracious in helping others address and overcome their personal sin, they can be far less gracious with themselves. They can find that they "beat themselves up" emotionally for their "failures". They may struggle with feelings of acceptance by God and his people. They may struggle with issues of self-worth and their place in this world as they wrestle with a sense of guilt. They may feel that they must perform "good deeds" to compensate for their failures."

When I looked into these words I saw a mirror with my face in it. It's a portrait of exactly the way my heart works.
"Who God made me to be"
I am not ashamed by being compared to the Apostle Paul... in fact the words helped me understand myself better like not just catching a glimpse but staring down a picture observing and knowing... this is me. Especially the "feelings of acceptance by God and his people". My constant need to feel acceptance and belonging with God is overwhelming at times. I feel like I can't get close enough, I can't draw near enough, I want him to just pick me up and hold me and say, "Yes you are mine." The thing is that He already did. He already laid the crown at my feet and offered a hand of extended grace.

I stand before him with my defects, my flaws, my guilt and he looks at me, places his hand on my cheek and turns my eyes to gaze upon the cross and says, "It is finished Brady. You just need to accept this offering. You are walking down the path of reconciliation with me but you need to know that you need to reconcile with yourself. My perfect lamb, the perfect sacrifice was given for you and everyone else who takes this cup... quit trying to cheapen it by thinking you have to do something more."

So I stop. I breathe. I thank him... that's all I can do. No good deed I do is worthy enough to take the place of Jesus, this one part of my personality I must surrender to him, to be fully accepting the full access he has given me to His grace.

Breathe in, breathe out, reminding my soul to not let my personality define my relationship with him. To take Brady by the hands, look into her heart and say "You are good enough. You are accepted. You are more than loved. He is more than enough for you. Your King of your heart is glorified with you. He laughs at your demeanor, he enjoys your clumsiness, he smiles at you when you walk and talk with him, when you say blessings for the butterflies, the flowers, the aroma of rain. He loves you, and that is more than enough."

So the question of who am I? wraps up in my mind. A smile wipes across my face and I am pleased. I understand why he made me the way he did, a base, not the whole thing, but it is a place to start understanding who I am in Him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Nightmare... A Warfare.

Satan is scared! He sees me no longer as a concern but a threat and he fears what God can do through me. (Beth Moore) He has begun giving me visions, thoughts, and now a nightmare that terrified me at first!

I was in another country and my group was walking back to our hotel. On the way an army (specific in my dream but I don't feel the need to say it here) took us captive and dragged us into our hotel. There they lined us up and one at a time placed a gun to our heads shouting, "Are you a Christian?!" The people proceeding me cried out "no!" and were set free. Then the gun was placed to my head and I was asked the question that would offer life or death depending on my answer... but before I spoke I was awaken with a cold sweat and a pounding heart.

Shaking I messaged my dear friend. Terrified I waited for a reply. What does this mean? What on earth just happened!

But through the words I read from the reply I was encouraged. Reminders that Satan hates where I am at right now. He sees the threat and wants to break it down. This spiritual warfare is nothing I can't face without my Comforter, my Chain-breaker, my God! My God is greater, he is stronger, and he is higher than any other!!

Let me tell you this truth:
Enemy! You have no hold here! Flee this place, flee my thoughts. If you don't cease I will be sure that every thought you are allowed to put into my mind will be used for God's glory, I will allow Him to turn it around, to see his will in ALL OF IT! Because I was reminded what I would have said. I would have shouted "YES! Shoot me now! Let me go to heaven to be with my King!" I would have chosen eternal life with the one whom my soul loves!
You have no hold here. For the one who lives in me is GREATER than the one who lives in this world! I am not afraid of you, because you tremble in the fear you have for the one who lives in me!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


This weekend! Whew.... so it was a  little bit, no scratch that, a lot out of my comfort zone. A women's retreat... yup. That's right, I went to one of those! Yes, I was that woman who signed up after the deadline just to say I tried and it was booked.... but guess what, I was placed on that waiting list crossing my fingers it wouldn't work out. But of course, it did. My two lovely mentors were not going to have any of that nonsense!

So I went.
Reluctant. Anxious. Unsteady.
But I went.

And it was worth it. God had a plan... Satan had no hold. Not even on Saturday night when he was screaming in my ear, "GO HOME!" and I did this back and forth of okay I'll head out tonight, no I really want to hear what Jen has to say tomorrow, no I need to go home there is so much to do, no I'll stay and just please everyone else. Blah! Frustrating. But God calmed my heart with the hug of a dear friend and the encouragement of another who claimed that it is worth staying.

Needless to say, the next morning God really called me out, gave me a chance to be courageous for him (something I have been praying for, craving) and I did, shaking, but I did, a nervous wreck, but he held me, he steadied me, and I pleased him as I stood in awe as he led me to be brave for his glory.

The thing about asking for something from God is that he provides a lot of opportunities once you start asking. I believe he says he will provide but it is us who has to take the step to doing what we asked.

Here is what I shared (the first time I stood up and felt God urging me to be brave), it is what I felt he was affirming in me this weekend... I trust that this is what he said to me:

"You need to seek me out, to know me. To look into my eyes by looking into my word Sealing it on your heart. Trusting. Loving, Praying.
Strengthen our bond on your end by abiding in me.
Find peace in knowing that I will provide for you are my friend, my bride, my child.
Find peace in knowing my love for you is overflowing, you just have to dive in!

Remind yourself by knowing me in intimacy, in moments where you seek me out, where you break down your walls, remove the lattice, go beyond the windows, where we will sit together and watch the breeze blow.

Find me in those moments!

When you're alone or too busy and weak to breathe deep, just look into my eyes!

You are swimming, treading, but I am calling you forth!

It's going to take time, to take moments where you emerse yourself in me. But you are safe here!
IN ME! In my shadow, in the gown I have set for you. There, there is where I find you to be beautiful.

Remember to seek me out and you will find me. To walk in this way because it is the path I have set for you.
Find me there. In that path. Run no longer, dodge no more hurdles.

 I am here!"

As I reread this over and over again. I find what he wants from me, that he knows my heart. But I need to stop focusing on myself and my self-centeredness and learn more about him. To watch the "breeze blow" or the holy spirit move with him, to see his power and majesty in the midst of my weakness. To do all this in remembrance of him and to glorify and make him proud because that's what he deserves.

Nothing I can bring to the table is worthy enough for him. But he wants it anyway.

It makes me think of a child bringing a scribbled drawing to a parent. Not sure what the parent will think. Completely unworthy to be on the wall, it is no Monet or Picasso. But the parent looks at it and picks up the child to hang it on the fridge. Saying, "This my child is priceless."

God knows my heart. My intentions. He knows I give it all to him, because all to him I owe. He hangs my work on his fridge and says "well done!" but I am not satisfied, never am. I want to give more and I want more of him. It's never enough, because I want to feel him, see him. A "lovesick" relationship with the maker of the universe.
I heard it eloquently put this weekend... "I miss him when I'm with him and I even miss him when he's with me."

So when God speaks to me like this, through his writing, when he calls me to be courageous, all I can say is YES! I am not worthy at all, there were so many more women at this retreat who could have said it better but when I put it in his hands I knew I trusted his purpose even though I did not know nor understand it.